23 Apr 2008

PNG government relaunches finance department probe

1:29 pm on 23 April 2008

The Papua New Guinea Government is relaunching a commission of inquiry into the Department of Finance that it had shut down last Friday.

There was widespread concern that the inquiry had been shut down because senior government bureaucrats were coming under suspicion.

But in a statement, the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, says he terminated the inquiry because the time allowed for it had lapsed.

He says he will now rescope the commission and broaden the parameters of the inquiry.

Sir Michael says this will involve appointing two more commissioners to assist the chairman, retired judge, Maurice Sheehan.

He says the terms of reference are good and will remain unchanged.

Sir Michael says Mr Sheehan will now report directly to him, and he says the materials collected to date during the inquiry are safe and remain the property of the commission.